Bed Bath & Beyond expands food tests
Retail Editor 2 -- Home Textiles Today, June 22, 2012
Morristown, N.J. - Late last year - months before it announced its plan to acquire Cost Plus World Market - Bed Bath and Beyond was testing "World Market" food and beverage offerings in just four stores. Today, those tests have expanded to multiple stores, executives said during the company's annual shareholder meeting here this morning.
The tests vary, Bath Bath & Beyond ceo Steve Temares told shareholders. Some offer international foods, others focus on healthy food items.
"We definitely think this is a significant opportunity," he said. Later, he pointed to the East Hanover, N.J., store as a test model offering one of the fuller food assortments, including coolers.
In a conversation with HTT following the meeting, Temares briefly addressed a few other issues.
Asked whether any of JCPenney's business has shifted to Bed Bath as the former pursues its turnaround, Temares said: "The answer is: We don't know."
Both retailers overlap in numerous markets, he noted, adding, "Other mall anchors would probably feel the impact before we do."
On the subject of product prices, Temares asserted Bed Bath & Beyond did not raise retails as much as many others during the period of soaring cotton prices and he doesn't anticipate doing so in the future.
"We don't believe there's a lot of elasticity there," he said.
Bed Bath & Beyond continues to "evolve" its sourcing and private label posture to differentiate itself, he said. Asked whether this is in response to the so-called "showroom effect" in which consumers visit a store to handle merchandise then order online with another retailer, Temares said: "Not a reaction as much as a recognition that these opportunities exist to bring more value to the customer."
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